No, not the last one ever – truth be told, this is the first “live” post that I’ve done in a while. The last few entries have been lounging around in the My Drafts folder and it’s been easier to post them (finally) than it was to write about new stuff. Now, however, I’m back online and getting back into the habit of being online!
This past week was spent working, “working” (meaning a picnic) and moving. I turned in my keys to the temporary apartment in downtown Seattle in exchange for a set of keys for a townhouse in downtown Redmond. Well, “downtown”. I’m still renting, and will be for the next ten months, but the majority of my stuff is now with me and is finally unpacked. Majority being the keyword because the movers have yet to deliver my bowling bag (no heartbreak), my bass bag (with the digital tuner – moderate annoyance at this), and my lock box (criminal offense). The lock box had two irreplaceable things: a photo album and an award from graduate school. The movers asked me “what is more important to you”; I replied “this lock box because of what’s in it – see? – they’re so irreplaceable that I’m sending them in a fire/waterproof box.” And then they lost it. [They put a trace on it, too, but that will take up to six weeks to track down – should make for some drama in August. While I might be living in the tranquil Northwest and have learned to smile at strangers, I have not forgotten how to be a Class-A Prick (a la Northeast heritage) when it comes to dealing with a retail snafu that is not of my making.]
As to that bit about the “last blog post” – I’m probably the last Blogger at Microsoft to finally talk about Visual Studio 2005’s Beta 1 release – what’s worse is that I helped to work on it. Sorta. See, I started about two weeks before the release was due. As any Dev/QA person can tell you, that’s an ugly time of any release cycle, beta or otherwise. So I tested and helped out and backed up other people, but the credit for this release goes to the greater team that I’ve joined. And a hell of a job they’ve done! So much so that I’ve got it installed on my machine (and once I get my remaining class projects graded, I’ll be shoving 2003 off and converting my .NET applications to use the new Framework) because it is that stable. I also think it’s pretty killer that we’re accepting bugs and suggestions from the user base and mixing them with what our own testers find. That’s just incredibly neat on all sides, having a world of people performing ad hoc testing and augmenting the structured internal testing… just awesome.
But the Geeks out there know all of that already: this news broke last week and in GeekWorld no news stays unbroken for long, especially when it comes to compilers – it makes for hot news in our world! I think I’m the last person to post about it, is all.
Oh, and by the way, there’s been a home upgrade as well. When I left CT, I sold my Sony Wega (VVega) 36″ TV, mostly because of it’s size and weight. I got it for the 98 World Series, so it wasn’t old, and the picture was still sharp… I just didn’t want to have to think about moving it out here, seeing as it was just under 200 pounds. Since I was out of inputs on the back of it, I opted to make a chance when I got out here.
Enter the Sony Grand Wega. 50″ of Projection LCD goodness. Four SVideo/RCA inputs. Two composite inputs. One DVI input. Memory stick input (yawn) and it can handle 1080i. I think it’s max resolution is 1300-something by 748 (or close to that). Of course, Comcast has a bunch of HDTV channels, ranging from 480i/p to 1080i/p, and that’s pretty spectacular. With the inputs available I’ve got VHS in RCA video, TiVo and PlayStation 2 for SVideo, XBox and DVD on composite, and cable on DVI. Leaving me with one input open for a camcorder, if I ever need it. So much for that “room for expansion” idea.
It also costs an ungodly amount of money – more than some of the plasmas that are out there. Here’s my take on it. First of all the projector screen is better than any I’ve seen before: you can stand along side of the screen and still see images. I dunno what Sony did to do that, but it’s better than most (Toshiba came close) where you see nothing along side the TV. Then there’s the weight: under 80 pounds. I can lift a size on my own without exerting myself even if it is still too large for one person to move! Then there’s technology. The plasma TV’s in this price range are EDTV; this is an HDTV. EDTV is 1/2 the resolution of an HDTV; plasma that are HDTV capable are still twice as much as what the Sony ran me. I’ll be damned if I’m spending over 3K on a TV and not getting the best picture I can for the cash… so I went projection. The only down side to the projection is the lamp/bulb, in that they do burn out over time, but since my protection plan covers the bulb and it looks easy to replace the bulb, I could care less!
Anyway, I’ve been enjoying the
sun weather [gotta keep up that rain theory to non-WA residents!] and going to go finish up grading papers, so I can end that contract too – the registrar office only gives me 24-48 hours to post the grades, so I have to get a move on!